Will Smith took to his personal YouTube channel to announce that Bel-Air, the previously announced dramatic series adaptation of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has “just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season order from a pitch.” Smith, who has been working in television for 30 years, called the deal “unprecedented.” You can check out the full announcement below, which is more like an informal gathering with himself and the other principals involved in production.
Smith is not wrong when he says the trajectory for the series is unusual. Bel-Air started life as a four-minute concept video that went viral after being posted in March 2019 by Kansas City filmmaker Morgan Cooper. The clip quickly picked up steam and turned out to be a breakthrough video for Cooper, who is now collaborating with Will Smith on the series. Cooper will direct, co-write, and serve as co-executive producer alongside writer, showrunner, and executive producer Chris Collins (The Wire, The Man in the High Castle).
According to a release, Bel-Air is a serialized adaptation “that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a re-imagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.”
While Peacock has ordered two seasons of the new show, there are no announcements regarding casting or tentative dates for when it will start airing.